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William Smith Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (36) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 24 March 1933Columbia, Missouri, USA
Nickname Big Bill
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Biker, bare-knuckle brawler, cowboy, Bee-Girl fighter, vampire hunter . . . William Smith has done it all. He was born on March 24, 1933, in Columbia, Missouri, on Rolling Acres, a Hereford cattle ranch. After losing everything to the dust bowl, the family moved to California. From 1942, when he was eight, through young adulthood, Bill appeared in many movies as an extra (uncredited). After high school, he joined the Air Force and served during the Korean War and flew secret ferret missions over Russia while in the NSA. He studied at the University of Munich, and Syracuse University. He graduated cum laude at UCLA. Bill would go on to become one of Hollywood's best-known character actors, with over 300 TV and movie credits. On TV he played in many westerns (did his own horseback riding), cop and sci-fi shows. He's best remembered for appearing in Batman (1966) as, appropriately, Adonis in the last episode. He was a series regular in Hawaii Five-O (1968), where he played Det. James "Kimo" Carew (the episode with Cathy Lee Crosby, "The Kahuna," drew particularly high ratings). On the big screen, Bill is legendary for biker flicks (he does his own motorcycle riding). His first biker flick, Run, Angel, Run! (1969), was shot in 13 days for under $100,000--and made $13 million! This was followed by Angels Die Hard (1970). These early, ground-breaking features defined the genre, and would be imitated endlessly (but never duplicated). In the early 1970s, Bill got into horror films--playing a vampire slayer in Grave of the Vampire (1972)--and science fiction, in the camp classic Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973), where he fought killer insect-women wearing sunglasses. Just about everybody's favorite William Smith movie, though, is Any Which Way You Can (1980), where as a bare-knuckle brawler he had a knock-down, drag-out fight with Clint Eastwood that wrecked about half the town. Tougher than Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill played his dad in Conan the Barbarian (1982), and was one of the few actors in the wildly popular, but critically lambasted, youth-oriented Red Dawn (1984) to receive any recognition from critics. He was in what could be called a textbook example of low-budget, campy sci-fi, Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988). Just about everybody who has ever worked with Bill speaks highly of him. He's educated, intelligent and energetic. A true legend in the business, Bill's acting career is still going strong in 2006, well into the 64th year of his career.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: kdhaisch@aol.com

William Smith is probably best known for his portrayal as "Falconetti" in Rich Man, Poor Man (1976). He first came to the screen as a child actor in films such as Going My Way (1944) and The Song of Bernadette (1943), before entering the service during the Korean War. There, his fluency in five languages landed him in the N.S.A. Security Squadron 6907. While working towards his doctorate, he landed a contract with MGM and never looked back. Over the next thirty years, Smith became one of the kings of B-movie villainy. With a prolific number of roles in westerns, biker, horror, sci-fi, and action pictures, his face-and muscular physique-are familiar to generations of movie fans.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Warren C. Staib

Spouse (2)

Joanne Cervelli (2002 - present)
Michele (? - ?) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

18 1/4 inch arms

Trivia (36)

Appeared in the final episode of Batman (1966), the first episode of The Rockford Files (1974), and although he was in the final season cast, he was not in the final episode of Hawaii Five-O (1968), he received on-screen credit only.
Lifetime Achievement Award from Academy of Bodybuilding and Fitness
Being a record-holder for reverse-curling his own body weight was a rumor. The correct weight he reverse-curled was 163 lbs.
2 Time Arm Wrestling World Champion-200lb class-Petaluma, CA
Served in the US Air Force and National Security Agency during the Korean War.
Graduated UCLA Cum Laude.
He was the Marlboro Man in the final televised Marlboro commercial.
Fluent in English, Russian, German, French, Serbo-Croatian.
Competed as a downhill skier in AAU events at Mammoth Mountain
Competed in motocross events with Steve McQueen and doubled as one of the track riders in C.C. & Company (1970).
Had a 31-1 record as an amateur boxer
Held the Air Force Light-Heavyweight Weightlifting Championship
Performed over 5,100 continuous sit-ups over a five-hour period.
Played semi-pro football for the Wiesbaden Flyers in Germany
Has a Masters Degree in Russian and taught Russian Language Studies at UCLA in the late 1950s.
Won a Muscle Beach contest by performing 35 inverted handstand dips
Honorary member of the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures.
Direct descendant of Western figures Kit Carson and Daniel Boone.
Bruce Lee personally offered Smith the co-lead in Enter the Dragon (1973), but another film went over schedule and John Saxon stepped into the role.
Filmed an eight-minute test pilot portraying Caine for the TV series Kung Fu (1972), wearing prosthetic eyepieces to make him appear Chinese. The network wanted Smith for the role, but producer Jerry Thorpe ultimately deemed him too muscular and menacing.
Studied kung fu for eight years with Jimmy Woo and kenpo karate master Ed Parker.
Stunt doubled for former Tarzan Lex Barker while living in France.
Turned down the role of Tarzan at MGM.
Training partner of first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott.
Fought California wildfires in the early 1950s
Worked as a lifeguard on the French Riviera
Worked as a trainer at Bert Goodrich's Hollywood Gym
Child actor in both "A" and "B" movies of the 1940s. He stated in a horror magazine that during breaks on the set of The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), star Lon Chaney Jr., treated all of the children on the set to ice cream.
Threw the discus 151 feet at a time when the top AAU distance was 150.6 feet.
Won the Light-Heavyweight German-Austrian Boxing Championship while in the service.
In 1942's The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), he plays a village boy.
Has a master's degree in Russian.
His favorite writer is Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Recipient of the 2008 Silver Spur Award.
Recipient of the 2005 Southern California Motion Picture Council Award.
Inducted into the Venice Muscle Beach Bodybuilding Hall of Fame 2010.

Personal Quotes (2)

Sammy [Sammy Davis Jr.] was really good friends with Peter Brown. Peter got married to a French girl, Yvette. He had this little ceremony in this church in Beverly Hills. Sammy . . . and Dean Martin were there. Dean Martin fell sound asleep just before Peter said "I do" [makes loud snoring noises]. But Dean Martin was one of the nicest guys I ever met in my life.
[about the first time he met co-star Neville Brand on the set of their series Laredo (1965)] Neville looked like he'd been hit by a truck. He was half dressed. He growled and mugged and scratched himself for half an hour, but Neville was one of the most decorated war heroes [Brand was the second most decorated American soldier in World War II, after Audie Murphy] . . . In his own way he was a great guy. Neville did good fight scenes, but he couldn't ride a horse. He'd get on a horse about 20 yards away from the camera and he'd come a-runnin'. He'd get about 10 yards away in towards the camera and he'd fall on his face. I don't think he ever made one shot where he completed a ride in two years. But he was a pretty good guy and he thought he was a tough guy but he couldn't punch his way through a wet cracker. He had a little problem with alcohol. He'd come up to me and hit me about that hard [indicates very soft tap] and I'd joke, "Oh, Neville, don't hit me no more, please" . . . I'd get him some coffee and he'd be fine. I didn't have any problem with him, but I think some of the people with the network didn't like him.

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